David Williams' first memory of the Come-See-Me festival was running down the field, chasing a football before flinging himself to the ground to watch the fireworks.
He was 8, maybe 9, at the time.
"These are the things kid cherish," Williams said.
Now Williams, president of the festival's board of governors, hopes to create more memories for his three children - ages 15, 8 and 3 - and for hundreds of other children of all ages as the Come-See-Me festival celebrates its 49th year.
"It's fun to see kids do the same things we did," Williams said Thursday. "Hopefully, they will keep this going."
Thursday was the coming-out breakfast for the festival - scheduled this year for April 7-16 - and the first official appearance of Glen the Frog, the chief promoter of the festival.
Glen was drawn by Rock Hillian Vernon Grant, who created Rice Krispies' celebrated gnomes, Snap, Crackle and Pop.
Grant's artwork is used to promote many community events. For the Come-See-Me festival, Grant created more than 30 different images of Glen.
This is the first year the image of a high-steppin' showman frog with a top hat has been used.
"There is a glimmer in his eye; he's dancing, having a good time," said Matt Watson, chairman of the 2011 festival. "We're going to be dancing for a whole week."
"Splendor of Spring" is the theme for the April 9 parade with grand marshal Jeff Wyman, a veteran and cancer survivor.
New events this year include the Jewel of the Carolinas Spring market on April 8 and 9. The market will feature vendors from all over the Southeast. Proceeds from the event will benefit Tender Heart Ministries, which provides food, clothing, and shelter to needy York County residents.
For adventurous types, new activities include the Camp Canaan Zipline Canopy Tour, grand opening at 11:30 a.m. April 9, followed by The Y Tri @ The Rock, a triathlon, at 7:30 a.m. on April 10.
Back for a second year is Chalk on Main on April 9, when Main Street becomes the canvass for the artistic talents of kids of all ages, and the Catawba Pow Wow on April 9-10 at the Winthrop Coliseum.
As always, Glencairn Garden will be the site of numerous concerts and the festival ends with tailgating and fireworks at Winthrop Lake.
Recognizing good work
The Come-See-Me festival annually awards its Community Service Merit Awards at the coming-out breakfast. This year's winners are:
Maralene Clark, who has volunteered her time with Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, Rolling in Rock Hill, at Winthrop University, and - as a licensed beautician - the "Look Good, Feel Better" program that assists cancer patients.
Fred Faircloth, president of the Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Co., who has "given a hand to everybody," said presenter Totty Wilkerson. Faircloth has served on many community boards, include the Come-See-Me board, where he won the "Beyond the Call of the Glen" award. He also has served on the boards of Friends of Historic Brattonsville and IPTAY, the city's Zoning Variance Board, and the Culture and Heritage Commission of York County. He also is a member of the Winthrop University Eagle Club and the Clemson Alumni National Council, which honored him with its "Super Tiger" award.
Tabernacle of Praise International Church of York is the first church to be honored by Come-See-Me. The church's Project Daniel offers educational, cultural and social help to children. The church also hosts the Summer Feeding Program for children. Its senior ministry includes visits to First Calvary Adult Day Care and White Oak Nursing Manor. Church members also faithfully provide meals to The Haven men's shelter and go on missions to Haiti.
Diane "Tweedie" White, who died Oct. 14, 2010, was "a visionary in this community," said Wilkerson. White helped plan the first Come-See-Me parade, the first Gourmet Gardens, and the festival's flag competition. She was a member of the Glencairn Garden development committee and helped light the garden for the Christmas holidays. Winthrop University honored her in 2003 with its Medal of Honor for her advocacy of the university and the arts.